Trump's DOJ withdraws Obama effort over transgender bathroom case

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Feb. 13, 2017 at 2:26 PM
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Feb. 13 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's administration has asked to withdraw a motion filed by former President Barack Obama seeking to allow transgender students in public schools to use the restroom with which they identify.

In a court filing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice on Friday requested to withdraw Obama's motion filed last year that asked a judge to scale back a temporary injunction that blocked the Obama administration's guidance over the transgender bathroom issue.

A hearing on the request was scheduled for Tuesday but the department asked to cancel the hearing, adding that Justice Department officials "hereby withdraw their pending ... motion for partial stay pending appeal."

"The parties jointly move to remove from the court's calendar the February 14, 2017, oral argument currently scheduled for that motion. The parties are currently considering how best to proceed in this appeal," the Friday filing reads.

Last year, the Obama administration issued guidance saying transgender students should be allowed to use whichever bathroom they identify with, citing Title IX of federal law that guarantees equality in education.

Texas and 12 other states filed a lawsuit after the guidance. A judge later temporarily blocked Obama's directive. The Obama administration then requested the block only apply to the 13 states that filed a lawsuit.

Without Obama's motion -- now being withdrawn by Sessions' Justice Department -- no U.S. state is required to follow Obama's guidance amid appeal.

"After being on the job for less than 48 hours, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled his intent to undermine the equal dignity of transgender students," Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement. "Transgender students are entitled to the full protection of the United States Constitution and our federal nondiscrimination laws. It is heartbreaking and wrong that the agency tasked with enforcing civil rights laws would instead work to subvert them for political interests. President Trump must immediately reverse course and direct the DOJ to uphold guidance protecting transgender students."

Courtesy of Equality Case Files

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